FALMOUTH, MA: The Wareham Gatemen are going to be a tough out in the 2012 CCBL Playoffs – as it is all coming together at the right time. Wareham defeated the Falmouth Commodores with the help of 6 homeruns in a 20-7 route at Arnie Allen Diamond; returning to the Western Division Finals for the 3rd consecutive season.
Not since the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in 2010 hit 6 homeruns and scored 23 runs vs the Orleans Firebirds, has such an offensive explosion taken place in a CCBL Playoff game. With the win, the Gatemen advance to the Cape Cod Baseball League Western Division FInals where they await the winner of the series between the #1 seed Cotuit Kettleers and the #4 seed Bourne Braves. That series is tied 1-1 and they will play a deciding game 3 at Lowell Park in Cotuit this afternoon at 4:00pm.
This game was played after being originally rained out on Friday and then was in question again as it was a rainy & wet day on Cape for the 2nd consecutive day. This didn’t seem to faze the Gatemen whatsoever as they wasted no time putting up a crooked number in the 1st inning. Cole Sturgeon (Louisville) led off the game with a double and 2 batters later, Kyle Schwarber (Indiana) drove him home with own double. With two outs, Daniel Palka started the homerun parade for the Gatemen; hitting a 2-run bomb and staking Wareham an early 3-0 lead.
Josh McGibbon (Clemson) knocked in a run for Falmouth off of Gatemen start Barrett Astin (Arkansas) in the home half of the first inning but that is as close as the Commodores would get all night. Astin cruised through his first 5 innings; not allowing run and setting up the Gatemen offense for a big 5th inning.
After a tough first inning for Falmouth starting pitcher Sean Hagen (St Johns), he sat down 8 of the next 9 Wareham batters. That all changed in the 5th inning. This record breaking season has been led by the likes of Horan, Palka & Schwarber in the middle of the Gatemen lineup. However, on this night, it was the bottom of the Wareham lineup that produced the power. Dustin DeMuth (Indiana) and Ethan Gross (Memphis) hit their first homers of the summer – and did in style as their back to back blasts led off the 5th inning and extended Wareham’s lead to 5-1.
The relentless Gatemen offense wasn’t satisfied with the back to back homers and later in the same inning, loaded the bases. Daniel Palka cleared the bases with a double and broke the game wide open. The double gave Palka 5 rbi and an 8-1, unsurmountable lead for his team.
The onslaught continued in the very next inning. After a couple of lead off walks by the DeMuth/Gross duo, Cole Sturgeon jumped on the homerun bandwagon and drilled a 3-run homer of his own and gave Wareham a 10-1 lead. Sturgeon finished the night 3 for 4, with 3 runs scored and 3 rbi.
The Commodores would try to chip away at the deficit and scored 4 runs in the bottom half of this inning that was highlighted by an Alex Moldanado (Holy Cross) 2-run double. Wareham got one of those runs back in the top of the 7th on an Ethan Gross double. Nick Rumbelow (LSU) came out of the bullpen in the 8th inning and as he did in game 1, looked completely dominant and overpowering. He struck out the side and in his two appearances in the series, the CCBL All-Star has faced 8 batters and struck out 7.
As impressive an an offensive night it had been for Wareham through the first 7 innings, apparently they weren’t satisfied. Capping off his best day in a Gatemen uniform, with the bases loaded, Ethan Gross hit a no-doubt, grandslam to give him 6 rbi & two homeruns on the night and put Wareham ahead 16-5.
A scoreless, 2 strikeout inning by Wareham reliever Jonathan Holder (Mississippi State) moved this game to the final frame. Remarkably, the Gatemen offense continued to pour it on. With two outs and the bases loaded, Ty Ross (LSU) hit Wareham’s sixth homer of the night – this one another grandslam and the 2nd in as many innings for the Gatemen.
Falmouth added two runs against Sean Newcomb (Hartford) in the bottom half of the final inning and the final score was 20-7. The Gatemen will have an off day and wait for the winner of the game 3 matchup in Cotuit today. If Cotuit wins, the Gatemen will play the Kettleers on Monday afternoon at 4:00pm at Lowell Park. If the Bourne Braves win, game 1 of the Western Division Finals will be at Spillane Field on Monday night at 7:00pm.
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